Monument Creek hydraulics project
This activity has benefited from input from faculty educators beyond the author through a review and suggestion process.
This review took place as a part of a faculty professional development workshop where groups of faculty reviewed each others' activities and offered feedback and ideas for improvements. To learn more about the process On the Cutting Edge uses for activity review, see http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/review.html.
This activity was selected for the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Collection
Resources in this top level collection a) must have scored Exemplary or Very Good in all five review categories, and must also rate as “Exemplary” in at least three of the five categories. The five categories included in the peer review process are
- Scientific Accuracy
- Alignment of Learning Goals, Activities, and Assessments
- Pedagogic Effectiveness
- Robustness (usability and dependability of all components)
- Completeness of the ActivitySheet web page
For more information about the peer review process itself, please see http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/review.html.
This page first made public: Jun 2, 2008
Skills and concepts that students must have mastered
How the activity is situated in the course
Content/concepts goals for this activity
Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity
Other skills goals for this activity
Description of the activity/assignment
Students then divide themselves into research of three. These teams will synthesize data together and ultimately write up the project together. Each team then sends one member to join members of other teams to do one of the three main aspects of the field or computer work (1) field identification of the bankfull channel and measurement of bankfull channel geometry, (2) field determination of modern channel roughness from modern stream hydraulics (Manning's n is back-calculated from present channel geometry and flow), (3) development of a flood-frequency curve for this reach of Monument Creek from USGS discharge data. These working groups (with one member from each research team) work initially independently in the field and subsequently doing calculations in the lab, or on the computer. Once each working group has completed what it can do on its own, these groups split up and each member of each group carries the groups results back to his/her research team, and explains to the other members of the research team what he/she has done to this point and what results he/she has for the team. The team then works to synthesize he results into an overall answer to the questions posed at the beginning of the lab (confusing enough for you?). Each research team then writes up the results, sometimes (as in 2007) as a lab write up, in other years in scientific paper format. Whether the project is turned in simply as a lab write up or as a scientific paper, students are always asked to assess sources of error and how they might affect the results.
Key words: Fluvial geomorphology, fluvial hydraulics, bankfull discharge, flood-frequency analysis Designed for a geomorphology course
Determining whether students have met the goals
Download teaching materials and tips
- Activity Description/Assignment (Acrobat (PDF) 40kB Jun2 08)
- Introductory questions haded out one session before the main lab handout (Acrobat (PDF) 30kB Jun2 08)
- Arkansas River flood frequency analysis for comparison (Excel 32kB Jun2 08)
- Willamette River flood frequency analysis for comparison (Excel 15kB Jun2 08)
If you do not want to have students try to back calculate a Manning's n for the modern stream a good source for estimating Manning's n is:
USGS Water Supply Paper 1849, by H.H. Barnes, Jr. (http://wwwrcamnl.wr.usgs.gov/sws/fieldmethods/Indirects/nvalues/index.htm)